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Neck Amphora (storage jar): Herakles and Erymanthian Boar; Warrior Farewell Scene

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On one side: Herakles capturing the Erymanthian boar. The Erymanthian boar was a monster which plagued the central Peloponnese around Mt. Erymanthos, and it was one of Herakles’ labours to catch it. Herakles is identifiable especially by his characteristic lion skin (which he wears over a tunic (chiton)) and club, and is also equipped with a quiver and a sword in its scabbard. He stands facing right in mid-step at the back of the boar, and partly obscured by it, grasping the top of its head with his left hand and holding his club over it with his right. His lion skin is decorated with small incised double lines representing the fur, added red dots on its mane, and its teeth and claws are painted in added white. Herakles’ beard is also dotted with added red. The boar occupies the center of the composition, facing to the right with its forelegs raised, and with added red dots on its neck, and with finely incised hair bristles along its back and tail. At the right, in front of the boar and facing left is the god Hermes, identifiable by his traveller’s cap (petasos), winged shoes and short cloak (chlamys). His cloak is decorated with a few dots in added red and white. His beard and his hat are also decorated with added red. His hair is tied into a bun. He reaches his left hand over the boar’s neck and behind Herakles’ arm, and holds his right hand up to his hat. In the background is a tree which is bearing white fruit. On the other side: the farewell of a warrior? At the center of the scene are two figures standing side-by-side facing left behind a round shield. The figure in the front is the warrior who carries the shield, which is decorated with a leg-shaped device in added white, and has its rim colored in added red. He is wearing greaves and a Corinthian helmet, which interrupts the tongue frieze at the top of the body of the vase. He also seems to carry two spears. The other figure stands looking back over his shoulder to the right, carrying a quiver, visible below the shield, and which identifies him as an archer. He also wears a pointed cap which may suggest that he is a Scythian or other foreigner. The two figures face an old man with hair and beard in added white at the left of the scene. He carries a scepter and wears a long cloak (himation) which is decorated with added red and white. He may be the father of one of the warriors. To the right, behind the warriors, is a woman, wearing a long cloak, with similar decoration to that of the old man. Her skin is colored with added white and she wears a red fillet in her hair. Both of her arms are covered by her cloak and she lifts her right hand to her face, as if wiping away tears. The sides of the neck are decorated with a lotus and palmette chain, a band of red and black tongues decorates the top of the shoulder, and below the ground line, which is a single black line, there is a band of lotus framed by double lines, while below this, above the foot, there is a band of rays. Below the handles, between the two figural scenes there is a symmetrical decorative pattern of palmettes with tendrils and lotuses.
Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art & Numismatics Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum Bequest of David M. Robinson
Title: Neck Amphora (storage jar): Herakles and Erymanthian Boar; Warrior Farewell Scene
Description:
On one side: Herakles capturing the Erymanthian boar.
The Erymanthian boar was a monster which plagued the central Peloponnese around Mt.
Erymanthos, and it was one of Herakles’ labours to catch it.
Herakles is identifiable especially by his characteristic lion skin (which he wears over a tunic (chiton)) and club, and is also equipped with a quiver and a sword in its scabbard.
He stands facing right in mid-step at the back of the boar, and partly obscured by it, grasping the top of its head with his left hand and holding his club over it with his right.
His lion skin is decorated with small incised double lines representing the fur, added red dots on its mane, and its teeth and claws are painted in added white.
Herakles’ beard is also dotted with added red.
The boar occupies the center of the composition, facing to the right with its forelegs raised, and with added red dots on its neck, and with finely incised hair bristles along its back and tail.
At the right, in front of the boar and facing left is the god Hermes, identifiable by his traveller’s cap (petasos), winged shoes and short cloak (chlamys).
His cloak is decorated with a few dots in added red and white.
His beard and his hat are also decorated with added red.
His hair is tied into a bun.
He reaches his left hand over the boar’s neck and behind Herakles’ arm, and holds his right hand up to his hat.
In the background is a tree which is bearing white fruit.
On the other side: the farewell of a warrior? At the center of the scene are two figures standing side-by-side facing left behind a round shield.
The figure in the front is the warrior who carries the shield, which is decorated with a leg-shaped device in added white, and has its rim colored in added red.
He is wearing greaves and a Corinthian helmet, which interrupts the tongue frieze at the top of the body of the vase.
He also seems to carry two spears.
The other figure stands looking back over his shoulder to the right, carrying a quiver, visible below the shield, and which identifies him as an archer.
He also wears a pointed cap which may suggest that he is a Scythian or other foreigner.
The two figures face an old man with hair and beard in added white at the left of the scene.
He carries a scepter and wears a long cloak (himation) which is decorated with added red and white.
He may be the father of one of the warriors.
To the right, behind the warriors, is a woman, wearing a long cloak, with similar decoration to that of the old man.
Her skin is colored with added white and she wears a red fillet in her hair.
Both of her arms are covered by her cloak and she lifts her right hand to her face, as if wiping away tears.
The sides of the neck are decorated with a lotus and palmette chain, a band of red and black tongues decorates the top of the shoulder, and below the ground line, which is a single black line, there is a band of lotus framed by double lines, while below this, above the foot, there is a band of rays.
Below the handles, between the two figural scenes there is a symmetrical decorative pattern of palmettes with tendrils and lotuses.

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